Richard Norton-Taylor in the Guardian offers an excellent glimpse at the scope of the cuts David Cameron is sketching for the UK military:
Britain’s armed forces will no longer be able to mount the kind of operations conducted in Ira qand Afghanistan, the government’s strategic defence review made clear today. For at least a decade it will also be impossible to deploy the kind of carrier task force which liberated the Falklands 28 years ago.
Though defence chiefs said today that they will still have significant expeditionary forces, they will not be able to intervene on the scale or tempo of recent years. According to new defence planning assumptions, UK forces will be able to carry out one enduring brigade-level operation with up to 6,500 personnel, compared to the 10,000 now in Afghanistan, plus two smaller interventions, at any one time.
Reduced ability to participate in America’s misguided military adventures isn’t the worst thing in the world, but this certainly strikes me as an odd priority relative to phasing out second-strike nuclear capabilities. That said, it’s nice to see one country at least where politicians seem to grasp that excessive “defense” spending is some of the most wasteful spending you can imagine.